In with the New, out with the Old

                 The 2013 NFC/AFC Championship games are almost here and are huge for many reasons. With the pending Ray Lewis retirement, Tony Gonzalez is thinking about retirement after this season, the evolution of the spread offense of the 49ers and potentially Tom Bradys’ 6th Super Bowl appearance and tying Bill Belichick with Don Shula for Super Bowl appearances with 6. So yeah there’s a lot at stake in this years Conference Championship games.

The NFC Championship Game

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The San Francisco 49ers are at Atlanta Falcons at 3:00 p.m. Sunday January 20, 2013.

This is a match-up between two polar opposite offenses. Atlanta running more of a pro style type of offense, while the 49ers run a pistol offense/read option offense. Matt Ryan has had a very successful year breaking Passing Yards record with 4719 and Passing Touchdown record with 32. This Falcons team was the hottest team all year in the NFC, while the 49ers made a quarterback change during the season which took a little time to blossom. Since the 49ers changed from Alex Smith, who is a prototypical game manager, to Colin Kaepernick who is a dual threat Quarterback that is allowed to run the offense that best suits him, the pistol offense. Lets breakdown the match-up –

QB’s- Matt Ryan vs Colin Kaepernick- I say its a tie based on what both can and have done so far this season.

HB’s- Turner/Rodgers vs Gore- Atlanta’s tandem is a power back to a change of pace back, while Gore is a speed that can lower his shoulder. Edge to Gore

Tight End- Tony G vs Vernon Davis- Both are physical freaks, but Davis gets shut out of some games and Tony G is always a factor in the outcome of the Game. Edge to Tony G.

WR’s- Roddy/Jones vs Crabtree/Moss- Roddy/Jones is easily the best receiver tandem in all of the NFL, Crabtree is having a break out year, but Moss is just too old at this point in his career. Edge to Roddy/Jones.

Defenses- 49ers vs Falcons- The 49ers defense is a very physical dominating defense that gets to the quarterback quite easily. The Falcons don’t have a great pass rush with Abraham injured. Without being able to contain Kaepernick the Falcons will have a long day. The edge goes to San Fran.

This should be a very good game and the final score will show it, I believe this game should come down to who wins the match-up between Tony G vs Willis and Davis vs Weatherspoon. I have the 49ers winning 27-24.

The AFC Championship

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Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots at 6:30 p.m. January 20th, 2013.

These two teams have been very competitive the last 3 games all finishing in 3 points or less in each game. The Ravens defense is a older defense, but is playing very inspired because of Ray Lewis retiring at the end of the year. The Patriots have had another ridiculous offensive season this year. The Ravens always seem to have the Patriots number and are able to get to and disrupt Tom Brady, so this could be another great game. I am going to break this match up down and let you know who I think will win.

QBs- Tom Brady vs Joe Flacco- This is a match-up between the great Tom Brady against a very inconsistent Joe Flacco. Edge to Brady

HBs- Ray Rice vs Vereen/Ridley/Woodhead- This seems like a lock for Ray Rice but the trio of running backs for the Patriots are very effective in what they do in running and catching the ball. Slight edge to Vereen/Ridley/Woodhead

WR- Smith/Boldin vs Welker/Lloyd- As good as Welker is Lloyd just isn’t consistent enough. Smith and Boldin have been very impressive this postseason, torching the Broncos secondary. Smith/Boldin gets the edge.

TEs- Pitta vs Hernandez- Pitta has had some very good games this year, which has been somewhat of a break out season for him. Hernandez has been injured a lot of the year, but he has been effective in the games he has played. Edge to Hernandez

Defense- Ravens vs Patriots- The Ravens are playing some very inspired defense, but they did give up a ton of yards and points to the Broncos last week. The Patriots played a less superior offense in the Houston Texans and had them held down until the game was over. I say the Patriots defense plays very well this week and will outplay the aging defense of the Ravens. Edge to Patriots.

Though these match-ups are close besides the quarterback position. This should be a very good game, while my heart says it will be a complete annihilation of 41-14. I am going to go with my head and say Patriots win 31-17.

This is my sports blog please read and share. Follow me on Twitter @T19Shaffer

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